Student Notes

by Kassandra

Student Notes

These notes were made by an IGCSE student.   They are an exemplar of what you should being doing for yourself.   NB - you will do MUCH better if you make your own set of notes, rather than just trying to learn these.

     Paris Peace Conference

Most fighting of WWI was done in Europe. Mainly in France and Belgium.


Allies:                                              Central (Axis) Powers

-          Britain                                       - Germany

-          France                                      - Austro-Hungarian Empire

-          Russia*                                     - Ottoman (Turkish) Empire

-          Italy (1915)                               - Bulgaria  

-          USA (1917)                                - Serbia

-          Japan

 * Russia did not stay till end because of exhaustion.


Britain lost many civilians from its navy.

Most fighting was done in France so France had more houses, factories, schools and churches destroyed.


WWI left everyone financially exhausted. Countries (Austria-Hungary) (Turkey) had been split up and new countries were forming. New governments for Russia and Germany.



32 different countries met in Paris on January 1919 to decide what to do with defeated Allies. Three men took charge, called ‘The Big Three’ – David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Britain. Georges Clemenceau – Prime Minister of France. Woodrow Wilson – President of the USA. Germany was not invited. Russia was not to receive anything because she retired from war.


Many disagreements. Public Opinion was against Germany in Britain and France.


What each of the three wanted: all had self interest at hand

What they got is highlighted

Lloyd George – big on public opinion

-          peace without need for revenge.

-          Prevent a future war.

-          war wasn’t Germany’s fault

-          Germany should be punished, but only so that she could recover fast to participate in politics and be major costumer for British goods.

-          Public opinion agreed

o        ‘make Germany pay’

o        ‘hang the Kaiser’.

-          wanted German fleet and German and Turkish empires.

-          Absurd: self determination,

o        freedom of the seas

o        general disarmament.


Clemenceau – big on public opinion

-          a very harsh treaty

-          Revenge

-          compensation

-          guarantee that they would never be invaded again because of their        geographical position (on border with Germany)

-          control of the Rhineland

-          Germany to be broken up into a collection of small states.

-          Saar coalfields.


Woodrow Wilson

-          fair treaty.

-          Germany shouldn’t have to pay for all damage.

-          War was not Germany’s fault

-          remove anything any causes of future war.

o        making the world fit for democracy

o        national- self determination (every nation rule itself)

o        produce a fair peace so that no one would later seek revenge

o        make a League of Nations

o        encourage free trade à no economic restrictions

o        free navigation of waterways

o        Serbia and Poland to have access to sea and disarmament.

Germany ignored the 14 points and imposed the Treaty of Brest Litovsk on Russia. Wilson’s attitude grew harsh.


Treaty of Brest Litovsk

Russia lost:

-          Ukraine and Finland (amongst other countries)

-          62 million people

-          27% of farmland

-          26% of railways

-          74% of iron and coal.


Treaty of Versailles

Diktat (imposed settlement). Germany had to agree, or face an Allied invasion.


Germany had to:

-          accept war guilt, pay damages caused (1921 sum was £6600 million)

-          army reduced to 100,000 men

-          conscription forbidden (officers had to be volunteers)

-          Get rid of armoured vehicles and submarines.

-          Demilitarize the Rhineland.

-          Return Alsace-Lorraine to France

-          Give up Saar to France for 15 years.

-          Give Eupen and Malmedy to Belgium.

-          Give up Sheleswig to Denmark.

-          Give Danzig up to make it a free international city

-          Give West Prussia and Posen to Poland.

-          Give 2/5 of upper Silesia to Poland.

-          Never join with Austria or Hungary.

-          Lost its colonies

§         Togoland

§         German South West Africa

§         German East Africa.

§         Mariana Islands à Japan

§         Marshal Islands à Japan

§         Caroline Islands à JApan

§         Shatung Provice & Port of Kiaochow (China) à Japan

§         New Guinea à Australia

§         Western Samoa à New Zealand


In total lost:

-          10% of land

-          all overseas colonies

-          12.5% of its population

-          16% of its coalfields

-          50% iron and steel industry


German reactions:

-          shock and humiliation

o        imposed treaty

o        were expecting Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points

o        accept war guilt – didn’t think it was true

o        not invited to Paris Peace Conference

o        reduction of army

o        paying reparations

-          reluctant acceptance to the treaties

o        Scapa Flow à sinking ships so Allies wouldn’t have them


1923 – French occupation of the Ruhr

this happened because Germany had failed to pay reparations. Workers went on strike and 100 men were killed.


Other Peace Treaties

1919 – Treaty of St. Germain (Austria)

-          separated Austria from Hungary; forbade them to join.

-          Bohemia and Moravia à Czechoslovakia

-          Bosnia and Herzegovinia à Yugoslavia

-          Army reduced to 35,000 men

-          Pay reparations


1920 – Treaty of Trianon (Hungary)

-          Transylvania --> Romania

-          Ruthenia and Slovakia à Czechoslovakia

-          Army reduced to 30,000 men


1919 – Treaty of Neuilly (Bulgaria)

-          lost land to Greece, Romania and Yugoslavia

-          lost access to Mediterranean sea

-          disarm


1920 – Treaty of Sevres (Turkey)

-          Smyrna à Greece

-          Syria à mandate under French control


1923 – Treaty of Laussane (Turkey)

-          returned Smyrna to Turkey.